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his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion; he poured out his fury like fire.
The LORD was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the Lord as in the day of a solemn feast.
The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.
Her gates are sunk into the ground: he hath destroyed and broken her bars : her king and her princes are among the Gentiles : the law is no more: her prophets also find no vision from the Lord.
Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my
liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee; and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens, and causes of banishment.
All that pass by clap their hands at thee: they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, say. F 6
ing, ing, Is this the city that men call the Perfection of beauty, the Joy of the whole earth.
All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee : they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
The Lord hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he hath commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.
Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the Lord's anger none escaped nor remained : those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.
How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed ! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter !
For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment: and no hands stayed on her.
The Lord hath accomplished his fury; he hath, poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.
The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.
For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her, they have wandered as blind men in the streets,
they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments. * They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean ; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.
The anger of the LORD hath divided them : he will no more regard them : they respected not the persons of the priests ; they favoured not the elders.
As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.
They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled : for our end is: come.
Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven : they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.
Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us : consider, and behold our reproach.
Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever: thy throne from generation to generation.
Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake uś so long time ? Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned: renew our days as of old.
But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It were needless to comment on this affecting elegy: for surely it is impossible to read it without being as it were inspired with proper reflections on the fall of Je.
rusalem, and the miserable fate of the nation which had long enjoyed such distinguished blessings and honours as the people of God. It would be equally superfluous to point out the cause of their ruin. One observation, however, it may be proper to make, which is this, that it was not the sin of a few individuals, but the general flood of ungodliness, which overspread the land of Israel and Judah, that provoked the LORD to punish his people so severely. Let no one then indulge a thought, that the fashion of the age they live in, or the crimes of others, will, in the smallest degree, extenuate his faults. The modes, the habits, the customs, and the laws of a country, may occasionally vary and change; but the obligations of religion, so far as they relate to obedience to the commands of God, remain invariably the same, throughout all ages; and whoever fails to observe and practice them, becomes highly culpable in the sight of God, and exposes himself to that punishment which every transgressor is assured will one time or other be his portion. Let not any one, then, go with the multitude to do evil; but let each individual watch his own heart, and endeavour, by hourly, care and circumspection, to bring himself to as great a state of perfection as possible; not omitting most earnestly to beșeech the SUPREME Being to grant the assistance of his HoĻY SPIRIT; and let' every one testify his love to his country, by doing his own part towards inviting the blessing of heaven, and averting the just judgments of an offended God!
THE HISTORY OF JEREMIAH, AND OF THE JEWS WHO
WERE LEFT IN JUDEA.
From Jer. Chap. xxxix. xl. Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzar-adan the captain of
the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm: but do unto him, even as he shall say unto thee.
And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, apd said unto him, The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place.
Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.
And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hạnd. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to
go. Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made go. vernor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go.
Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahi. kam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Go, and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good: and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee.
But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: